A variety of approaches exist for managing central auditory nervous system dysfunction with the most commonly discussed including therapeutic remediation, compensatory management, and the use of technology. Based on our research and the research completed at Colorado State University, the Foundation advocates the use of compensatory management coupled with the use of technology.
The Able Kids Foundation’s data-driven management program varies upon a person’s auditory profile and their primary difficulties and is designed to help individuals better cope with the various demands in their listening environments. Challenging auditory environments that continually stress the central auditory nervous system may lead to failure; however, with appropriate management, children and adults can better cope with the auditory demands in their daily lives.
Specific compensatory management strategies are recommended at the Able Kids Foundation which include, but are not limited to, preferential seating, providing written instructions, receiving permission to take exams in a quiet environment, and avoiding multi step directions. A more comprehensive list of strategies will be provided in a detailed report, along with our findings.
The second key component to the Foundation’s management program entails the use of passive filter technology. Colorado State University was the first to recommend passive filter technology to mitigate central auditory processing challenges in the early 1990’s. The filter device improves the efficiency of challenged central auditory nervous systems and improves an individual’s ability to understand auditory information in difficult listening environments. The filter is fit so that hearing is still within normal limits, even in the targeted higher frequency range. In situations where compensatory management is difficult to implement such as recess, gym, the cafeteria, birthday parties, sporting events, and other social functions, the filter allows children and adults to decrease “auditory chaos” by controlling their auditory environment. The Foundation recently reviewed the data of 1000 individuals who were diagnosed with CAPD. The use of a passive filter improved their speech understanding in noise by over 20%.
Another important management tool is the use of FM auditory systems. Individualized and speaker FM systems have been used successfully with children and adults with auditory difficulties, including CAPD, and have shown good improvement in classroom performance for a number of children seen at the Able Kids Foundation. We have also fit FM systems for college students who have had great difficulty processing auditory information in large lecture halls. The use of an FM system allows them to receive instruction on practically a one-on-one basis. This results in improved classroom performance and reduces the amount of energy they expend just trying to understand confusing auditory input.